The CEO of PSA Peugeot-Citroen has claimed car demand in Europe in the second half of 2009 will fall less than expected.
Earlier predications had been bleak, with PSA predicting demand would drop by seven per cent year-on-year between 1 July and 31 December.
Speaking at an event at a technical centre near Paris, PSA CEO Philippe Varin said: “We are in line, actually better than this forecast.”
Pan-European scrappage schemes have seen a sharp rise in car demand across the continent, but there are fears the market will crash again in 2010 when the government backed schemes end.
The French industry minister Christian Estrosi said the government would decide by October whether to extend the country’s scrappage scheme, but he hinted it could be tilted in favour of more fuel efficient vehicles.
Elsewhere in Europe, the Italian car manufacturer’s group UNRAE said it expected year-on-year sales in the country in August to be up around 10 per cent on 2008 levels to 85,000 units.
Italian sales in July were up 6.16 per cent on 2008 levels to 204,905 units.